up around you (how more than why)

morning come after
all we let fly,
want and foreboding
shadowing night.

“how will we prosper”
playing the mind,
fear seeking claim us,
blue zone define.

wake us to witness
you in our sight,
into forever
thriving us by.

taking up more than
just me and I,
out from your mountain,
valley to sky.

river to bear your
how into light,
up around you now,
love more than why.



suppose already
we are where we need,
knees tucking chin,
rock given hold.

suppose already
we are where we are,
water surrounding
flow as we flow.

when it freeze,
when we slow.

and there,
an ice bow
shimmering close.

stream running deep,
river below.


meet me in a place

meet me in a place
where strength
does not bend

where love
does not die

where hate
is not lauded

where fear
is not belittled

where bells
ring recess

where students
get to study

where teachers
get to smile

where hunters
walk in marshes

where diners
nod hello

where ashes
mark our staying

where love
trumps boasting

where voting
tells our courage

where shalom
is for all

for the stranger

for the living

you and me.

meet me in a place
with courage
for tomorrow,

where love
and mercy kiss

where truth
and hope embrace.

meet me in a place
where heart
and ash reside.


  • William B. Jones,  Feb. 15, 2018. 

vine and moss

the earth being flat
we waited us you,
decades pouring
free its side,

water sluicing
steady, slow,
moss and vine
to climb your eye.

how else could we
wind us through?
how else float an
ebbing tide.

out your bramble
reaching clear,
tangle glide
through drawing light.



photo courtesy Jon Rieley-Goddard.


so fold them gently
as if they had purpose,
hands to cleanse,
face warming deep

put them in place
as if they had merit,
more than you
or I can see

place on the shelf
to wait the moment
God stretches next
inside our need

take these each
as if they matter,
as if our folding
itself gives peace.



“O Let your songs be of God and praise God, and let your talking be of all God’s wondrous works.” – Psalm 105:2

and sun light rising into silver
take myself your farther shore,
ice through morning splinter river,
crystal flowing into core.

gulf to cross again your bidding,
word to carry into yours,
as if only ever could be
answering your good endure.

this the song you bring unmasking,
left hand opening to you,
this the story singing, asking,
left hand laying open to.

let the straw warm who will take it,
leaving here for who may use,
rest my hand and rest my waiting,
who may fold inside your tune.

sun-light rising over river,
shore to ask me home again,
smile me waiting you forever,
smile me waiting you my friend.


“Confitemini Domino” Latin, “O Praise the Lord for Good” Psalm 105 heading, BCP

Cup into Life

Winter silence encircled reflection on themes from Joyce Rupp’s “The Cup of Life” as a dozen of us gathered in retreat. Six physical, spiritual and relational “cups” were examined in as many sessions on moving from opening to pouring to seeing and more.

Stories, blessings and other stirrings of the spirit ensued as we broke silence together. Between segments poems surfaced too, drawing on aspects of our sharing and scripture given for each cup. The final poem revisits the series in sum. Cup into joy into mending into love. Again.

“Cup into Life” WB Jones, Jan 2018

i. “do not ask” (the cup of life)
ii. “
reach” (the open cup)
iii. “
perilous realm” (chipped cup)
iv. “
stretching into” (cup of brokenness)
v. “
love enough” (cup of compassion)
vi. “
whisper me God” (cup of blessing)


“Cup of Life” Silent Retreat
Center for Ministry at Millsaps College
Gray Center, Canton, MS
January 2018